nicolem neurofeedback

Types of Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback Systems

We have 3 different types of neurofeedback systems. To help you decide which one is best for you we have listed the pros and cons of each.

 

Neuroptimal Neurofeedback

You will sit in a quiet room in a comfortable lounge chair. Your therapist will attach electrodes to your head that feed your brainwave patterns into a highly sophisticated computer program. The neurofeedback session is relaxing, enjoyable and lasts 33 minutes. As the session starts, you will hear music playing through headphones. Everytime the software picks up a dysregulation in your brain waves, you will hear “skips” or interruptions in the music, this is the signal that prompts your brain to self-correct and reorganize. At the end of a session, you will most likely feel less stressed and more mentally clear. It is unlikely you will experience any negative after-effects as the system does not artificially “push” the brain in any specific direction.

Fee: $150, 45 minute session

Number of Sessions Recommended: 20 sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Training your brain takes consistent repetition.

Pros:

  • Most clients enjoy the calming experience of neuroptimal as they recline in a chair listening to calming music

  • Requires no effort on the part of the client

Cons:

  • Takes a little longer to feel a dramatic difference, as electrodes are only placed on two points on the head (the sensorimotor stip just above the ears).

 

HPN (High-Performance Neurofeedback) 

*This system is the most popular in our clinic

This system provides faster results because it does push the brain out of it’s stuck patterns but in a very gentle way. Don’t worry you don’t feel a thing! This is not electric shock therapy. The signal going back to the brain is about 4,000 times weaker than what your brain is exposed to when you hold a cell phone to your head. We move electrodes gradually across 10 different sites of the brain providing feedback to the whole brain. Unlike Neuroptimal where electrodes are placed only on two sites of the brain. With HPN neurofeedback, the computer picks up on the dominant frequency at each site. Then the system sends a slightly different frequency back to the brain. The brain is basically given, for a few seconds, something new to do. The brain is a copycat so it follows the lead of the frequency that it is sent and copies it for a few seconds. This gently nudges the brain out of its dysfunctional stuck pattern (i.e. neurons firing too fast causing muscle tension, racing thoughts and anxiety or too slow causing inattention, depressed mood, and brain fog).

Fee: $100, 30 minute session

Number of Sessions Recommended: 10-20 sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Training your brain takes consistent repetition.

Pros:

  • Results can be felt quickly. Some people feel it before they get up from the chair, most feel a difference within their first four sessions.

  • Requires no effort on the part of the client

  • Great for kids that have difficulty sitting still as electrodes are placed on the different sites on the head for only a few seconds.

Cons:

  • Since a tiny frequency is sent back to the brain, some people may feel temporarily tired or wired after their session. This is not very common and often only happens at the beginning of your training, as your brain patterns get used to being interrupted.

 

Traditional Neurofeedback (EEGer 4)

We put electrodes on two sites of your head and you play a video game with your brain. This system is based on the theory of operant conditioning where the client is rewarded with beeps, points, and gameplay when they are changing their brainwave patterns to healthier patterns.

It is recommended that we do an assessment of your brain waves before starting this type of neurofeedback called a qeeg. This allows us to see the precise part of the brain that is dysregulated and we can then put electrodes on that specific site of the brain and give it feedback to start to change.

Fee: $100, 30 minute session

Number of Sessions Recommended: 40 sessions or more, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This type of neurofeedback is based on learning, you will need more sessions but once our brain patterns learn how to stay regulated the results are lasting. Research consistently indicates that clients maintain their improvements through neurofeedback training. Dr. Joel Lubar from the University of Tennessee has carried out longitudinal studies on the long-term effects of neurofeedback training. He reports that ADD clients sustain their improvements gained from the neurofeedback training for up to 20 years.

Pros:

  • Traditional neurofeedback is the most well-researched.

  • The AAP (The American Academy of Pediatrics) recently rated this type of neurofeedback at the same level of efficacy as a stimulant medication for use with those dealing with ADD and ADHD.

Cons:

  • It requires you to sit still and pay attention to the screen as learning is happening (this can be difficult for young children or children who may not understand the instructions).

  • It takes time to train the brain to stop going into patterns that are causing dysfunction.

                Nicole McCance Psychology

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